The SYSTEM Series

July 6, 2023  |  Toolkits and Training Materials

The SYSTEM (Strengthening Your System to Energize Momentum) Series is designed to help communities more effectively end homelessness by providing tools to help communities:

  • Identify areas where they can make the most meaningful improvements to their systems;
  • Continuously execute on those improvements for the greatest impact, and
  • Leverage their Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) application for the CoC Program competition to kick-start efforts to build a more effective system.

Follow the Alliance’s 2024 Webinar Series to learn how to create an effective, efficient, and equitable homeless response system!

The SYSTEM Series update includes updates on emerging priorities that all effective homeless response systems must be prepared to address, as well as insights on issues and areas that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has prioritized in the CoC Program Competition NOFO. Please note this page was last updated with resources relevant to the FY 2023 NOFO application process.

Promoting Equity, Lived Experience, Housing First, and System Performance: What Matters in the 2023 NOFO

Webinar | Build an Effective Homeless Response System: Getting Ready for the CoC NOFO

What does an effective homeless response system do? What elements enable a homeless system to make real impacts for people experiencing homelessness? And how can you start thinking about the CoC NOFO as a vehicle to make decisions and investments to achieve such a system?

This webinar was recorded for the FY 2022 NOFO application process, but still aligns with HUD’s FY 2023 CoC NOFO priorities.

FY 2023 CoC NOFO Resources

CoC Scoring Chart

Do’s and Dont’s Fact Sheet

Project Rating and Ranking Tool

Important Links:

Expand This Page
Housing First

Is Your System Truly Housing First?

Housing First is at the foundation of an effective, evidence-based community response to ending homelessness. But what does it mean to truly be a Housing First community, and how can systems ensure they’re properly aligned with Housing First principles? The following resources can help.

Housing First Resources

Housing First Tools:

Housing First Blogs:


Housing First Videos:


Building a Data-Driven Response to Homelessness

CoC data is a fundamental tool for understanding any homelessness system’s performance. The following resources explore how to best understand and leverage CoC data, to guide decisions on program investments and allocations.

Data Tools

Data Resources

Data Blogs

Racial Inequities

Addressing Racial Inequities

Racial disparities are present in nearly all homeless service systems, and it is up to CoCs to reduce these disparities and promote equity. CoCs should assess racial disparities in program outcomes, identify barriers to achieving racial equity, and take steps to eliminate these barriers in their systems. This process should include input from people of different races and ethnicities, especially those over-represented in the local homelessness system.

Race Equity Resources

Race Equity Publications


Reducing Unsheltered Homelessness

Unsheltered homelessness is on the rise, especially in West Coast cities. People experiencing unsheltered homelessness are more likely to experience homelessness for a longer period than people who are sheltered. They face unique challenges in accessing housing and services, experience serious physical, mental, and behavioral health challenges, and likely to have ongoing involvement with the criminal justice system. Systems that effectively align their resources around outreach, low-barrier shelter, targeted federal relief, and the appropriate housing programs are best prepared to make meaningful progress towards shelter and housing for those who are unsheltered.

Federal Resources

Unsheltered Homelessness Tools

Unsheltered Homelessness Publications


Reducing the Criminalization of Homelessness

The increasing visibility of unsheltered homelessness has prompted some communities to expand the criminalization of homelessness. A combination of emerging strategies and effective best practices are central to helping systems overcome harmful policies, reduce and reshape police interactions with unhoused people, and stop the cycle of fines, citations, and arrests associated with being homeless.

Criminalization Resources

Criminalization Publications


Criminalization Videos

Lived Experience

Listening to People with Lived Experience

The process of incorporating insights and feedback from people with lived experience is essential to effective system design. But meaningful input means much more than sporadic focus groups or token gestures. Learn how systems can re-center their strategies around the needs and perspectives of the people they serve.

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Lived Expertise (HUD)

Lived Experience Resources


Partnering with Housing, Health, and Service Agencies

No system can go it alone. But collaborative, accountable partnerships between homelessness systems and those in the housing, health, and other human service sectors make it possible to work faster, smarter, and to make the greatest impact on ending homelessness in a community.

Housing Partnership Resources

Health Partnership Resources

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

The availability of affordable housing allows homelessness systems to operate more effectively. CoCs play a critical role in educating local leaders and stakeholders on this need and about the consequences of the continued lack of affordable housing. CoCs should communicate with jurisdiction leaders, including for the development of Consolidated Plans, about the harmful effects of the lack of affordable housing, and they should engage local leaders about steps such as zoning and land use reform that would increase the supply of affordable housing.

Affordable Housing Resources

Anti-Discrimination for LGBTQ

Anti-Discrimination for LGBTQ

People in the LGBTQ community face homelessness at disproportionate rates, and can be discriminated against when seeking shelter or housing. CoCs should implement and train providers on anti-discrimination specific to the LGBTQ community, as well as develop and/or update anti-discrimination policies at both the CoC and provider levels.

Anti-Discrimination for LGBTQ Blogs

Anti-Discrimination for LGBTQ Resources

Webinar Archives from 2022

Webinar Archives from 2022

The Alliance is continuing to update and create content to helps systems navigate the latest NOFO application process. The following webinars from 2022 are still relevant to the FY 2023 CoC Program Competition:

2022 Webinars

Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities

Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities

Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHE) are encouraged to review for information on how to engage in CoC activities and apply for funding. This would apply to Tribes or Tribally Designated Housing Entities who either completed the FY 2023 CoC Program Registration as a Collaborative Applicant, provided a Tribal Resolution authorizing a CoC to include trust land or reservation, or are considering future participation in the CoC program.

TDHE Resources